On this day 24 August Vietnam

Drone_pilot

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1969 U.S. unit refuses commander's order

Company A of the Third Battalion, 196th Light Infantry Brigade refuses the order of its commander, Lieutenant Eugene Schurtz, Jr., to continue an attack that had been launched to reach a downed helicopter shot down in the Que Son valley, 30 miles south of Da Nang. The unit had been in fierce combat for five days against entrenched North Vietnamese forces and had taken heavy casualties. Schurtz called his battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Robert C. Bacon, and informed him that his men had refused to follow his order to move out because they had "simply had enough" and that they were "broken." The unit eventually moved out when Bacon sent his executive officer and a sergeant to give Schurtz's troops "a pep talk," but when they reached the downed helicopter on August 25, they found all eight men aboard dead. Schurtz was relieved of his command and transferred to another assignment in the division. Neither he nor his men were disciplined. This case of "combat refusal," as the Army described it, was reported widely in U.S. newspapers.

1963 Washington changes policy on support for President Diem

Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge receives a State Department cable stating that the United States can no longer tolerate Ngo Dinh Nhu's influence in President Ngo Dinh Diem's regime. This message was in response to the raids on the Buddhist pagodas; it also directed Lodge to tell the South Vietnamese generals that Washington was prepared to discontinue economic and military aid to Diem. This was no doubt a major factor in convincing the opposition generals to launch the coup that resulted in Diem's death in the early morning hours of November 2, 1963.

1970 B-52s conduct heavy raids along the DMZ

U.S. B-52s carry out heavy bombing raids along the DMZ. In the United States, a radical protest group calling themselves the New Year's Gang blew up in the Army Mathematics Research Center at the University of Wisconsin Army Mathematics Research Center in Madison. A graduate student who was working late was killed in the blast. The center, which reportedly was involved in war research, had been a focus for protest in the past, but previously protests had all been nonviolent.
 

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